Born in 1973, fine artist Eric Armusik grew up in the northeastern coal region ofPennsylvania. Once one of the largest coal mining operations in the county, his hometown was a landscape riddled with the depressions of post-industry. In contrast to the blight was a diverse ethnic community strong in faith. What the community lacked in public art and museums it made up for it with churches on each city block. It was there that Eric had his first experiences with art, staring at the walls and ceilings at church on Sunday. The traditions and academic realism of Catholic religious paintings and artwork made a permanent impression that continues to influence his work today.
From an early age it was evident that Eric had artistic talents and at the age of 10 he won an art competition "Why I love living in theWyomingValley" that included students from all of the surrounding schools and his drawing of the Swetland Homestead was exhibited in theFranklinFirstFederalBuildingin downtown Wilkes Barre. His talents continued to win him numerous competitions and in 1990 he was awarded for his Contribution to the Arts byWilkesUniversitywhere he attended their Upward Bound program. In 1991, Eric attendedPennsylvaniaStateUniversity, where he earned a B. F. A. in painting, with and a minor in an art history focusing on Baroque art. In 1995 he received the Margaret Giffen Shoenfelder Memorial Scholarship for the Arts and finished his art history minor abroad for a semester inTodi,Italy. During his art classes there he drew from original paintings, architecture and sculptures by the old masters such as Michaelangelo, Bernini, Caravaggio, Rubens and Donatello. The rare opportunity to study masterworks by Baroque painters Caravaggio and Artemisia Gentileschi had a profound effect on the quality of his work and focused the inspiration he experienced as a child. After years of learning the techniques of the old masters Eric honed his skills at thePhiladelphiastudio of renowned international realism artist and portrait painter Nelson Shanks, Studio Incamminati. Today Eric’s paintings have established him as one of today’s strongest purveyors of traditional figurative painting. In 2010 he won the Chairman’s Award for theSixthInternationalArtRenewalCentercompetition out of 1700 submissions from over 30 countries worldwide. Eric conducts several workshops in traditional painting each year and has attracted students from around the world that come to study with him.
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